Adapting to Rio the key for India shuttler Nehwal

Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:06am EDT
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By Nivedita Shankar

BENGALURU, India (Reuters) - Adapting quickly to playing conditions at the Rio Olympics will pose the biggest challenge for players, says India's Saina Nehwal, who is aiming to better the badminton bronze she won in London four years ago.

After fighting her way back to fitness following an Achilles injury sustained at the end of last year, the 26-year-old's confidence was given a boost ahead of her third Olympics when she won the Australian Open Super Series title last month.

The Indian shuttler said, however, that victory would have little bearing on her chances at the Aug. 5-21 Olympics and she was more concerned about hitting the ground running in Brazil.

"It all depends on how you get adjusted to the conditions there, that's more important," she told Reuters in an interview in Bengaluru.

"If the Australian Open was one week before Olympics, maybe it would have an effect, but the gap has given all players time to prepare. They will all come stronger.

"There are a lot of things like time difference that will affect us only after we go there. How well you prepare here is not the main thing, but how you take care of the other aspects there is important."

MORE AGGRESSION   Continued...

India's Saina Nehwal returns a shot to China's Wang Yihan during their women's singles  quarter-final badminton match at the BWF World Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia August 14, 2015.  REUTERS/Darren Whiteside